There’s something about creeping August that always gets my summer ambitions up. My initial plans for today would have taken us around the island but the surf report told Lynnette that the water on the east side would be too rough for the twins. I settled instead for a trip up to the North Shore.
The clouds hung low over Mililani when we left the house this morning and it rained on our way out to Waimea Bay – our first marker. Madison had been waiting all week to visit a playground and she was audibly upset about the rain falling. “I guess we’re not going to the playground, then,” she said in her best Karen Higa/Lynnette Higa passive-aggressiveness. I don’t even know who that comment was for? The weather gods? Sheesh.
We drove through the rain and emerged dry near Sunset Beach Elementary School. We’ve been to this playground before, so it’s wasn’t an official new addition to the #playgroundtour2017, but the kids like it and there are tennis courts which allow us to trap the twins if need be. Avery spent most of her time stepping down from the play surface onto concrete with the help of the orange security netting. She likes falling, I guess. Cole climbed like he always does, this time walking and climbing up the slide. Both Cole and Avery also walked back to the car without: walking into traffic, running away from us, stepping in animal feces, and requiring us to scream their names repeatedly. WIN.
We kept driving and picked up lunch from Papa Ole’s. It took some time for our food to get out but it was worth the wait. Madison got a hamburger steak, Lynnette got the ribs/garlic shrimp combo plate, and I got a mini garlic pork with a side of poke from Tamura’s. It’s a trek, but if you’re going to be out there anyway, Papa Ole’s is legit.
While the food was obvious highlight of my day, the new playground at Laie Elementary was the apex of Mad’s. We passed it on the way to Papa Ole’s and from that point on Madison had difficulty focusing on anything but playing on those new structures. When we finally arrived Madison found three structures unlike any she’s played on before. I asked her if Aikahi is still her favorite playground. Madison said yes, but this new one is a “close second.”
It remained overcast for most of the day but it never did rain while we were at the beach. We found a small area south of Turtle Bay which featured a small inlet of water for the twins to splash around in. Lynnette is terrified of the King Tides which she thinks means 7-foot faces at the shorebreak of all beaches. I told her that’s not what it meant but because I am me, she didn’t believe it. It wasn’t until she heard Justin Cruz say the North Shore would be 0-2 that she was all “Okay, maybe we can go to the beach.” In Lynnette’s defense, nobody else listens to me, either.
Beach trips are tricky because they totally depend on the twins’ temperament. During other attempts this summer, one or both of the twins have been cranky. Consequently, our outings had been cut short. Not today. Both Cole and Avery were in great spirits while at the beach. They didn’t even do that thing where they get cold after 20 minutes and want to quit it all.
I don’t know what Lynnette and I have done wrong as parents, but something hilarious and ridiculous happened to us out in the water today. Lynnette, Madison, and I caught a few hermit crabs. Lynnette held one out for Avery to see and I laid one in my palm for Cole. In retrospect, maybe what happened next was predictable, but still. Avery watched the small animal crawl across Lynnette’s hand, then quickly grabbed it and shoved it into her mouth. She started chewing! “DON’T EAT THE HERMIT CRAB!” Lynnette shouted frantically. It appeared as if she stuffed her entire hand into Avery’s mouth to swipe the crab out. And while I was in awe of Avery, COLE HAD SCOOPED UP MY CRAB AND WAS GNAWING ON IT WITH HIS FRONT TEETH. “No!” I said, at a higher pitch than the shreds of my masculinity care to admit. I swatted the crab out of his hand. It crashed into the ocean from whence it came. Cole licked his lips and shot me a confused look. I was the confused one. What did they think the crabs were? The only thing I can come up with is that we held out the crabs the same way we hold out snacks to them. I guess I can’t blame them.